Tuesday Tune: Chris Cornell, ‘Nothing Compares 2 U’
Cornell is a modern icon who transcends genre. He was the chief architect of the ’90s grunge movement and remains one of the most iconic rock voices of all time. Achieving multiplatinum success with three legendary bands — selling over 30 million records worldwide — Cornell has forged his own unique identity over three decades as a Grammy award-winning, Golden Globe nominated singer, songwriter, guitarist, composer and lyricist. His career began with the Seattle trailblazer Soundgarden, whose wild soundscapes combined visceral punk attitude with artistic depth. Powerfully original, the band was the first of its generation of Seattle bands to sign to a major label in 1989, and its work continued to evolve over the course of seven groundbreaking albums. Soundgarden made a historic return to the stage in 2010 and has since toured the world, releasing the all-new studio album, “King Animal,” to widespread acclaim.
Cornell has continually redefined his sound and vision. In 1990, side project Temple of the Dog saw him experiment with a more soulful style alongside the future members of Pearl Jam. Later in the decade, his critically acclaimed solo album “Euphoria Morning” combined lush melody and instrumentation with lyrics that spoke of alienation and despair. And as the millennium turned, he joined with three other musical pioneers from Rage Against the Machine to create supergroup Audioslave. The multiplatinum band released three albums and toured stadiums around the world, becoming the first American rock group to perform a massive free concert in Castro’s Cuba. Cornell has also collaborated with many different artists, most recently the Zac Brown Band on the single “Heavy Is the Head,” which peaked at No. 1 on rock radio in the U.S.
His soundtrack work has spanned big budget and independent cinema. He was the first male American artist to write and perform the theme song for a James Bond movie (“You Know My Name” for Casino Royale). With Soundgarden, he wrote the end title song “Live to Rise” for The Avengers, the third highest grossing film of all time.He did a duet with Joy Williams on his song “Misery Chain,” which appeared on the soundtrack of the Oscar-winning 12 Years A Slave and his song “The Keeper” from Marc Forster’s Machine Gun Preacher was nominated for a Golden Globe in 2012.
Cornell’s recent solo acoustic “Songbook” tour attracted sellout crowds and critical acclaim worldwide. Jim Farber of the New York Daily News observed, “sometimes you don’t recognize the full power of a voice until you strip everything away from it.” The tour’s reinterpretations of classic Cornell songs are featured on his 2011 live album by the same name.
Cornell sat down for an in-depth interview and acoustic performance in the SiriusXM Studios for an Artist Confidential where he performed a cover of Prince’s “Nothing Compares 2 U” in 2015. Check it out!
Don’t miss Chris Cornell in Belk Theater on June 20! CLICK HERE for tickets before it’s too late!